Alan Cross at Center of Courtney Love “Twibel” Lawsuit

Canadian radio personality and music reporter Alan Cross will play a role in the outcome of the defamation lawsuit filed against Courtney Love. She’s being sued by her former lawyer after tweeting that Rhonda Holmes had been “bought off”. The musician most known outside of her fan base for being Kurt Cobain’s wife at the time the Nirvana singer killed himself apparently believes her lawyer wasn’t doing a good enough job with all her other legal troubles and that the obvious conclusion was that someone “got to her.”


Alan Cross, in this undated photo, plays central role in technology legal history with his testimony in the Courtney Love “Twibel” defamation lawsuit

Spin Magazine was in the courtroom and reports on what had Cross climbing into a plane for Los Angeles Monday morning, forcing The World’s Most Popular Podcast™ to record the week’s show the night before. Cross was called to testify about an interview he did in the summer of 2010:

“‘I’ve been hiring and firing lawyers to help me with this,’” Cross quoted the Hole frontwoman as saying. Then, the piece continued, “[Love] goes on to tell of a female attorney who has since stopped taking her calls because they ‘got to her’ after she mentioned something toPage Six of the New York Post. ‘She’s disappeared.'”

The prosecution is framing Cross’s story as half the evidence needed to show this isn’t just a one-off claim Love hammered out on Twitter.

Love’s lawyer has a very simple defense to Cross’s testimony: “got to her” could have meant anything, and besides, this woman’s crazy.

THR reports Love’s current legal rep, a brave soul named Michael Niborski from Pryor Cashman, is arguing Love didn’t expressly mean Holmes had been bought off. “Obviously, the phrase ‘they got to her’… can mean many different things,” he wrote. “For example, it more plausibly means ‘they irritated her’ or ‘they wore her down’ or ‘they reasoned with her.’ It does not necessarily mean ‘they bribed her into ceasing her legal representation of Courtney Love.” He added, Who are ‘they’? Who is ‘her?’ ” Who are any of us, Michael.

Cross told the court he didn’t name Holmes in his 2010 article as the lawyer because Love didn’t say it was her. But a New York Post article a year earlier named Holmes as her “attorney” and Cross testified he knew it:

“I did not want to be dragged into any potential libel, slander, or defamation [cases]. But I made a link to the [New York Post] article so anyone could figure it out for themselves.”

As a Canadian, Cross was under no obligation to testify. The veteran broadcaster and self-professed “music geek” wasn’t dragged, as feared, to the Cook County Courthouse (which Cross tells Geeks & Beats looks “just like it looks on TV. Seriously.”) Spin quotes:

“Something I said and wrote is central to what seems to be a very important case in U.S. case law,” he said. “I want to be able to tell my side of the story rather than have it be interpreted by someone who was not there and did not write it.”

Despite numerous claims this is the world’s first “twibel” lawsuit, Courtney Love is already in the technology history books as being the first Twitter user to be sued ever. Three years ago:

…designer Dawn Simorangkir complained the singer depicted her as a thieving, drug-addled prostitute with violent tendencies on her old @CourtneyLover79 account.

Those comments cost Love $430,000 — plus legal fees. Those fees went to Holmes.

Spin Magazine reports on day 4 of the trial, obviously missing the bigger Alan Cross-related angle with the title: Courtney Love Sobs About Kurt Cobain’s Mistreated Legacy in Court.


Liked it? Take a second to support Michael Hainsworth on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment